With COVID-19 closing restaurants across the country, The Brook pivoted to delivering restaurant-quality plant-based meals to locked-down customers.
Today, the company’s delivery service has diversified to include a range of products available in dedicated chiller cabinets at supermarkets such as Co-operative, Budgens and Londis.
With plant-based eating becoming more popular, the business model is one that Thea Brook, Founder at The Brook, plans to expand post-pandemic. Thea originally approached Swoop to find a bridging loan:
“We needed to increase our production capacity so that we could take on the bigger retailers,” says Thea. “Swoop not only saved us a lot of time, they also got us a good deal.”
A loan from Mint moved The Brook to the next stage in their evolution. Thea says that the funding enabled her to take advantage of the opportunity to make a name for the business in retail:
“Not to be too dramatic, but getting the money was life or death for the business. It meant that we didn’t have to raise again to build the business to where it needed to be. We could focus inwards and make sure our processes and recipes were where they had to be, rather than focus outwards looking for sources of funding.”
Thea makes particular mention of Andrew Moon who oversaw the funding journey. Thea says:
“Andrew had so much positive energy when it came to asking questions about the business. He had a million ideas about finance options for us both to serve our immediate need and also looking further down the road.”
One such idea has proved fruitful: Andrew introduced The Brook to Innovate UK EDGE. The company is now in a year-long project following an award of £14,000 for a £20,000 project to rebuild their online platform.
Thea says that the experience of working with Swoop has enabled her vision for the company to be realised:
“We initially approached Swoop to solve a short term problem. Swoop’s genuine desire to learn about us and find further solutions as the company grows means that we now consider this to be more of a long term partnership.”
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